Ireland is to allocate an additional €4.5 million to international co-operation on climate action, Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton has said.
Speaking at the COP24 in Poland, the Minister said he is fully committed to implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Mr Bruton is due to attend a number of high-level meetings on Wednesday and will make a national statement as negotiations enter their final phase.
“This conference is about making those commitments stick by agreeing a rulebook among all countries so that we are all making progress in a consistent, transparent manner,” he said.
“It is the foundation for moving on in the coming months to see how, acting in solidarity, we can stretch our ambitions beyond what we have committed to. We need to be honest with where we are at so that we get to where we need to be.”
Mr Bruton said “the urgency of climate action” was clearly understood at the COP24 opening. At its conclusion, he said he would ensure Ireland played its part, “with the EU and our global partners to enable the Paris Agreement to fulfil its potential as the multilateral mechanism for global climate action”.
He has allocated an additional €4.5 million to international co-operation on climate action.
“This funding is crucial if we are all to meet our global ambition. We must support developing countries to adapt and to mitigate against the costs associated with the effects of climate change.”
The funds will go towards the Green Climate Fund which helps developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change, while €1.2 million will go the Great Green Wall Initiative to counter desertification in sub-Saharan Africa. The funds will also support efforts to ensure climate actions are gender-responsive and support the IPCC.
Jennifer Higgins, policy and advocacy advisor at Christian Aid Ireland, said Ireland needs to ensure the outcome of the UN COP24 talks puts human rights at the heart of the global response to climate change.
“It is worrying that we are seeing an attempt by some countries to water down, or remove human rights language from the final text we will see at the end of this COP,” she said.
Ireland traditionally had a strong, principled position on the language of inclusion from the preamble of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which protects human rights, gender equality and indigenous peoples rights, Ms Higgins added.
It was critical that this was also to be included in the rulebook to be finalised this week; “not just merely referenced”.
Trócaire policy adviser Cliona Sharkey said Mr Bruton needed to bring his commitment to making Ireland a climate change leader to the international negotiations.
“We are hoping he will make a strong statement when he comes on the need for action in line with the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] science, and commit to aligning Ireland’s policy with this,” she added.
There was also an urgent need to scale up climate finance to enable poor countries to adapt to the impacts they are already struggling with, so they too could contribute to the global decarbonisation effort.
“IPCC have said the financial support isn’t optional, it is absolutely essential to deliver on the 1.5 degree limit as well as a matter of equity and fairness.”